16th June, 2021 MoITT through USF Launched “Smart Village” project in four provinces, Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan


June 16, 2021, Islamabad: The Ministry of Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication through Universal Service Fund (USF) launched Smart Village project in four provinces, Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan. The project will be funded and technically supported by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Huawei Technologies Pakistan. The Smart Village will be equipped with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) facilities where training will be provided on how to use digital services and incorporate them into their daily lives. Chief guest of the ceremony, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque inaugurated the ceremony with Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication, Muhammad Sohail Rajput, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, CEO, USF, Dr. Ismail Shah, Area Representative for Southeast Asia, ITU and Ahmed Bilal Masood, Deputy CEO, Huawei on Wednesday.

Chief Guest of the ceremony, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque said: “Smart Village project is another step towards realizing Prime Minister’s vision of Digital Pakistan. The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication through USF is partnering with ITU and Huawei to digitally transform remote and rural communities by connecting and empowering them through better access to a range of digital services in the domain of health, education, commerce, and livelihood. The project emphasizes on the whole-of-government approach and promotes cross-sector collaboration and multi-stakeholder engagement to further improve cost-effectiveness and sharing of resources and expertise in delivering the services to citizens. Initially one Smart Village will be established each at Islamabad, Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan”.

The Federal Minister congratulated the teams of USF, ITU and Huawei and ensured his support in the implementation of the project. He also said that Ministry of IT and Telecommunication will continue to undertake more challenging and productive programs in future for the promotion of IT and Telecommunication related services. 

Federal Minister said that National Information Technology Board (NITB) launched more than30 mobile applications, government web portals and websites related to public services. The benefits of these applications can be availed by the general public only when they access them.

He said that the effects of the steps taken under the Digital Pakistan Vision are now beginning to show. We have started the first e-cabinet, working on E-Parliament, E-Office and Internet Voting also.

Sharing his thoughts at the ceremony, CEO, USF, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary said: “We are very happy to collaborate with ITU and Huawei to digitally transform the rural and remote communities of Pakistan by providing access to digital services. Smart Village project is consistent with USF’s mission to empower the unserved and unserved communities. This partnership will permit USF, ITU and Huawei to mutually serve their mission.”

Sharing his views on the development, Area Representative for Southeast Asia, ITU, Dr. Ismail Shah said, “COVID-19 presented to us opportunities and challenges in this uncharted territory. We are all searching for solutions which are inclusive and sustainable, which paves ways to economic prosperity. This Smart Villages Pakistan has a great potential to be the solution which Pakistan may wish to showcase at WTDC-21 or other regional and global events. We look forward to working closely with the Government of Pakistan, Huawei, and other partners on this important initiative and feel excited about the positive impact it generates on the well-being and livelihoods of thousands of Pakistanis from the rural areas.”

Senior officials of the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, USF and Huawei were also present at the ceremony.